The Periodic Table of Elements Presented as Interactive Haikus

British poet and spec­u­la­tive fic­tion writer recent­ly got a lit­tle cre­ative with the Peri­od­ic Table, writ­ing one haiku for each ele­ment.

Car­bon

Show-steal­ing diva,
throw your­self at any­one,
decked out in dia­monds.

Sil­i­con

Locked in rock and sand,
age upon age
await­ing the dig­i­tal dawn.

Stron­tium

Dead­ly bone seek­er
released by Fukushi­ma;
your sweet days long gone.

You can access the com­plete Ele­men­tal haiku here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

via Men­tal Floss

Relat­ed Con­tent

Inter­ac­tive Peri­od­ic Table of Ele­ments Shows How the Ele­ments Actu­al­ly Get Used in Mak­ing Every­day Things

The Peri­od­ic Table of Ele­ments Scaled to Show The Ele­ments’ Actu­al Abun­dance on Earth

Peri­od­ic Table Bat­tle­ship!: A Fun Way To Learn the Ele­ments

“The Peri­od­ic Table Table” — All The Ele­ments in Hand-Carved Wood

World’s Small­est Peri­od­ic Table on a Human Hair

“The Peri­od­ic Table of Sto­ry­telling” Reveals the Ele­ments of Telling a Good Sto­ry

Chem­istry on YouTube: “Peri­od­ic Table of Videos” Wins SPORE Prize

Free Online Chem­istry Cours­es

Interactive Periodic Table of Elements Shows How the Elements Actually Get Used in Making Everyday Things

Kei­th Enevold­sen, a soft­ware engi­neer at Boe­ing, has cre­at­ed an Inter­ac­tive Peri­od­ic Table of Ele­ments. As you might expect, the table shows the name, sym­bol, and atom­ic num­ber of each ele­ment. But even bet­ter, it illus­trates the main way in which we use, or come into con­tact with, each ele­ment in every­day life. For exam­ple, Cad­mi­um you will find in bat­ter­ies, yel­low paints, and fire sprin­klers. Argon you’ll encounter in light bulbs and neon tubes. And Boron in soaps, semi­con­duc­tors and sports equip­ment.

The Inter­ac­tive Peri­od­ic Table of Ele­ments (click here to access it) is a handy tool for chem­istry teach­ers and stu­dents, but also for any­one inter­est­ed in how the ele­ments make a chem­i­cal con­tri­bu­tion to our world. Also worth not­ing: Enevold­sen has released his Inter­ac­tive Table under a Cre­ative Com­mons Attri­bu­tion-Share­Alike 4.0 Inter­na­tion­al License.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

via Men­tal Floss

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Peri­od­ic Table of Ele­ments Scaled to Show The Ele­ments’ Actu­al Abun­dance on Earth

Peri­od­ic Table Bat­tle­ship!: A Fun Way To Learn the Ele­ments

“The Peri­od­ic Table Table” — All The Ele­ments in Hand-Carved Wood

World’s Small­est Peri­od­ic Table on a Human Hair

“The Peri­od­ic Table of Sto­ry­telling” Reveals the Ele­ments of Telling a Good Sto­ry

Chem­istry on YouTube: “Peri­od­ic Table of Videos” Wins SPORE Prize

Free Online Chem­istry Cours­es

The Map of Chemistry: New Animation Summarizes the Entire Field of Chemistry in 12 Minutes

Philoso­phers, tech­nol­o­gists, and futur­ists spend a good deal of time obsess­ing about the nature of real­i­ty. Recent­ly, no small num­ber of such peo­ple have come togeth­er to endorse the so-called “sim­u­la­tion argu­ment,” the mind-bog­gling, sci-fi idea that every­thing we expe­ri­ence exists as a vir­tu­al per­for­mance inside a com­put­er sys­tem more sophis­ti­cat­ed than we could ever imag­ine. It’s a sce­nario right out of Philip K. Dick, and one Dick believed pos­si­ble. It’s also, per­haps, ter­mi­nal­ly the­o­ret­i­cal and impos­si­ble to ver­i­fy.

So… where might the per­plexed turn should they want to under­stand the world around them? Are we doomed to expe­ri­ence real­i­ty—as post­mod­ern the­o­rist Jean Bau­drillard thought—as noth­ing more than end­less sim­u­la­tion? It’s a lit­tle old-fash­ioned, but maybe we could ask a sci­en­tist? One like physi­cist, sci­ence writer, edu­ca­tor Dominic Wal­li­man, whose series of short videos offer to the layper­son “maps” of physics, math, and, just above, chem­istry.

Walliman’s inge­nious teach­ing tools excel in con­vey­ing a tremen­dous amount of com­plex infor­ma­tion in a com­pre­hen­sive and intel­li­gi­ble way. We not only get an overview of each field’s intel­lec­tu­al his­to­ry, but we see how the var­i­ous sub­dis­ci­plines inter­act.

One of the odd­i­ties of chem­istry is that it was once just as much, if not more, con­cerned with what isn’t. Many of the tools and tech­niques of mod­ern chem­istry were devel­oped by alchemists—magicians, essen­tial­ly, whom we would see as char­la­tans even though they includ­ed in their num­ber such tow­er­ing intel­lects as Isaac New­ton. Wal­li­man does not get into this strange sto­ry, inter­est­ing as it is. Instead, he begins with a pre­his­to­ry of sorts, point­ing out that since humans start­ed using fire, cook­ing, and work­ing with met­al we have been engag­ing in chem­istry.

Then we’re launched right into the basic build­ing blocks—the parts of the atom and the peri­od­ic table. If, like me, you passed high school chem­istry by writ­ing a song about the ele­ments as a final project, you may be unlike­ly to remem­ber the var­i­ous types of chem­i­cal bonds and may nev­er have heard of “Van der Waals bond­ing.” There’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty to look some­thing up. And there’s noth­ing wrong with being a pri­mar­i­ly audi­to­ry or visu­al learn­er. Wal­li­man’s instruc­tion does a real ser­vice for those who are.

Wal­li­man moves through the basics briskly and into the dif­fer­ences between and uses of organ­ic and inor­gan­ic chem­istry. As the ani­ma­tion pulls back to reveal the full map, we see it is com­prised of two halves: “rules of chem­istry” and “areas of chem­istry.” We do not get expla­na­tions for the extreme end of the lat­ter cat­e­go­ry. Fields like “com­pu­ta­tion­al chem­istry” are left unex­plored, per­haps because they are too far out­side Wal­li­man’s exper­tise. One refresh­ing fea­ture of the videos on his “Domain of Sci­ence” chan­nel is their intel­lec­tu­al humil­i­ty.

If you’ve enjoyed the physics and math­e­mat­ics videos, for exam­ple, you should check back in with their Youtube pages, where Wal­li­man has post­ed lists of cor­rec­tions. He has a list as well on the chem­istry video page. “I endeav­our to be as accu­rate as pos­si­ble in my videos,” he writes here, “but I am human and def­i­nite­ly don’t know every­thing, so there are some­times mis­takes. Also, due to the nature of my videos, there are bound to be over­sim­pli­fi­ca­tions.” It’s an admis­sion that, from my per­spec­tive, should inspire more, not less, con­fi­dence in his instruc­tion. Ide­al­ly, sci­en­tists should be dri­ven by curios­i­ty, not van­i­ty, though that is also an all-too-human trait. (See many more maps, exper­i­ments, instruc­tion­al videos, and talks on Wal­li­man’s web­site.)

In the “Map of Physics,” you’ll note that we even­tu­al­ly reach a gap­ing “chasm of ignorance”—a place where no one has any idea what’s going on. Maybe this is where we reach the edges of the sim­u­la­tion. But most sci­en­tists, whether physi­cists, chemists, or math­e­mati­cians, would rather reserve judg­ment and keep build­ing on what they know with some degree of cer­tain­ty. You can see a full image of the “Map of Chem­istry” fur­ther up, and pur­chase a poster ver­sion here.

Find Free Chem­istry Cours­es in our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Map of Physics: Ani­ma­tion Shows How All the Dif­fer­ent Fields in Physics Fit Togeth­er

The Map of Math­e­mat­ics: Ani­ma­tion Shows How All the Dif­fer­ent Fields in Math Fit Togeth­er

Isaac Newton’s Recipe for the Myth­i­cal ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ Is Being Dig­i­tized & Put Online (Along with His Oth­er Alche­my Man­u­scripts)

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

Periodic Table Battleship!: A Fun Way To Learn the Elements

periodic-table-battleship

Nitro­gen.

Phos­pho­rous.

Arsenic.

Aw, you sunk my bat­tle­ship!

Mil­ton Bradley’s clas­sic board game, Bat­tle­ship, can now be added to the ros­ter of fun, cre­ative ways to com­mit the Peri­od­ic Table of Ele­ments to mem­o­ry.

Karyn Tripp, a home­school­ing moth­er of four, was inspired by her eldest’s love of sci­ence to cre­ate Peri­od­ic Table Bat­tle­ship. I might sug­gest that the game is of even greater val­ue to those who don’t nat­u­ral­ly grav­i­tate toward the sub­ject.

Faced with the option of learn­ing the ele­ments via show­er cur­tain or cof­fee mug osmo­sis, I think I’d pre­fer to take out an opponent’s sub­ma­rine.

Rules of engage­ment are very sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal. Rather than call­ing out posi­tions on a grid, play­ers set their tor­pe­does for spe­cif­ic ele­ment names, abbre­vi­a­tions or coor­di­nates. Advanced play­ers might go for the atom­ic num­ber. the lin­go is the same: “hit,” “miss” and—say it with me—“you sunk my bat­tle­ship!

The win­ner is the play­er who wipes out the other’s fleet, though I might toss the los­er a cou­ple of rein­force­ment ves­sels, should he or she demon­strate pass­ing famil­iar­i­ty with var­i­ous met­als, halo­gens, and noble gas­es.

To make your own Peri­od­ic Table Bat­tle­ship set you will need:

4 copies of the Peri­od­ic Table (lam­i­nate them for reuse)

2 file fold­ers

paper clips, tape or glue

2 mark­ers (dry erase mark­ers if play­ing with lam­i­nat­ed tables

To Assem­ble and Play:

As you know, the Peri­od­ic Table is already num­bered along the top. Label each of the four tables’  ver­ti­cal rows alpha­bet­i­cal­ly (to help younger play­ers and those inclined to fruit­less search­ing for the ele­ments des­ig­nat­ed by their oppo­nent)

Fas­ten two Peri­od­ic Tables to each fold­er, fac­ing the same direc­tion.

Uses mark­ers to cir­cle the posi­tion of your ships on the low­er Table:

5 con­sec­u­tive spaces: air­craft car­ri­er

4 con­sec­u­tive spaces: bat­tle­ship

3 con­sec­u­tive spaces: destroy­er or sub­ma­rine

2 con­sec­u­tive spaces: patrol boat

Prop the fold­ers up with books or some oth­er method to pre­vent oppo­nents from sneak­ing peeks at your mar­itime strat­e­gy.

Take turns call­ing out coor­di­nates, ele­ment names, abbre­vi­a­tions or atom­ic num­bers:

When a turn results in a miss, put an X on the cor­re­spond­ing spot on the upper table.

When a turn results in a hit, cir­cle the cor­re­spond­ing spot on the upper table.

Con­tin­ue play until the bat­tle is won.

Repeat until the Table of Ele­ments is mas­tered.

Sup­ple­ment lib­er­al­ly with Tom Lehrer’s Ele­ments song.

Those not inclined toward arts and crafts can pur­chase a pre-made  Peri­od­ic Table Bat­tle­ship set from Tripp’s Etsy shop.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Learn to Write Through a Video Game Inspired by the Roman­tic Poets: Shel­ley, Byron, Keats

Play Mark Twain’s “Mem­o­ry-Builder,” His Game for Remem­ber­ing His­tor­i­cal Facts & Dates

200 Free Kids Edu­ca­tion­al Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Web­sites & More 

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er, sec­u­lar home­school­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Her play Zam­boni Godot is open­ing in New York City in March 2017. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

The Periodic Table of Elements Scaled to Show The Elements’ Actual Abundance on Earth

elements_relative_abundance

When you learned about The Peri­od­ic Table of Ele­ments in high school, it prob­a­bly did­n’t look like this. Above, we have a dif­fer­ent way of visu­al­iz­ing the ele­ments. Cre­at­ed by Pro­fes­sor William F. Shee­han at San­ta Clara Uni­ver­si­ty in 1970, this chart takes the ele­ments (usu­al­ly shown like this) and scales them rel­a­tive to their abun­dance on the Earth­’s sur­face. In the small print beneath the chart, Shee­han notes “The chart empha­sizes that in real life a chemist will prob­a­bly meet O, Si, Al [Oxy­gen, Sil­i­con and Alu­minum] and that he bet­ter do some­thing about it.” Click here to see the chart — and the less abun­dant ele­ments — in a larg­er for­mat. Below we have a few more cre­ative takes on the Peri­od­ic Table.

Fol­low Open Cul­ture on Face­book and Twit­ter and share intel­li­gent media with your friends. Or bet­ter yet, sign up for our dai­ly email and get a dai­ly dose of Open Cul­ture in your inbox.

via Pick­over

Relat­ed Con­tent:

“The Peri­od­ic Table Table” — All The Ele­ments in Hand-Carved Wood

World’s Small­est Peri­od­ic Table on a Human Hair

“The Peri­od­ic Table of Sto­ry­telling” Reveals the Ele­ments of Telling a Good Sto­ry

Chem­istry on YouTube: “Peri­od­ic Table of Videos” Wins SPORE Prize

Free Online Chem­istry Cours­es

 

The Chemistry Behind the Smell of Old Books: Explained with a Free Infographic

Aroma-Chemistry-The-Smell-of-Books-724x1024

What gives old books that ever-so-dis­tinc­tive smell? Andy Brun­ning, a chem­istry teacher in the UK, gives us all a quick primer with this info­graph­ic post­ed on his web site, Com­pound Inter­est. The visu­al comes accom­pa­nied by this tex­tu­al expla­na­tion. Writes Brun­ning:

Gen­er­al­ly, it is the chem­i­cal break­down of com­pounds with­in paper that leads to the pro­duc­tion of ‘old book smell’. Paper con­tains, amongst oth­er chem­i­cals, cel­lu­lose, and small­er amounts of lignin – much less in more mod­ern books than in books from more than one hun­dred years ago. Both of these orig­i­nate from the trees the paper is made from; fin­er papers will con­tain much less lignin than, for exam­ple, newsprint. In trees, lignin helps bind cel­lu­lose fibres togeth­er, keep­ing the wood stiff; it’s also respon­si­ble for old paper’s yel­low­ing with age, as oxi­da­tion reac­tions cause it to break down into acids, which then help break down cel­lu­lose.

‘Old book smell’ is derived from this chem­i­cal degra­da­tion. Mod­ern, high qual­i­ty papers will under­go chem­i­cal pro­cess­ing to remove lignin, but break­down of cel­lu­lose in the paper can still occur (albeit at a much slow­er rate) due to the pres­ence of acids in the sur­round­ings. These reac­tions, referred to gen­er­al­ly as ‘acid hydrol­y­sis’, pro­duce a wide range of volatile organ­ic com­pounds, many of which are like­ly to con­tribute to the smell of old books. A select­ed num­ber of com­pounds have had their con­tri­bu­tions pin­point­ed: ben­zalde­hyde adds an almond-like scent; vanillin adds a vanil­la-like scent; eth­yl ben­zene and toluene impart sweet odours; and 2‑ethyl hexa­nol has a ‘slight­ly flo­ral’ con­tri­bu­tion. Oth­er alde­hy­des and alco­hols pro­duced by these reac­tions have low odour thresh­olds and also con­tribute.

The Aro­ma of Books info­graph­ic can be viewed in a larg­er for­mat here. And because it has been released under a Cre­ative Com­mons license, it can be down­loaded for free. For anoth­er expla­na­tion of this phe­nom­e­non — this one in video — see this pre­vi­ous post in our archive:  The Birth and Decline of a Book: Two Videos for Bib­lio­philes

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

via IFLScience

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Secret Book­store in a New York City Apart­ment: The Last of a Dying Breed

Old Books Bound in Human Skin Found in Har­vard Libraries (and Else­where in Boston)

Spike Jonze Presents a Stop Motion Film for Book Lovers

Wear­able Books: In Medieval Times, They Took Old Man­u­scripts & Turned Them into Clothes

13-Year-Old Char­lotte Bron­të & Her Broth­er Wrote Tee­ny Tiny Adven­ture Books, Mea­sur­ing 1 x 2 Inch­es

“The Periodic Table of Storytelling” Reveals the Elements of Telling a Good Story

periodic table storytelling

Dmitri Mendeleev might have designed the orig­i­nal peri­od­ic table – a graph­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of all the basic build­ing blocks of the uni­verse – but artist James Har­ris has done some­thing way cool with that tem­plate — the Peri­od­ic Table of Sto­ry­telling.

That’s right. Har­ris has tak­en all the tropes, arche­types and clichés found in movies (not to men­tion TV, com­ic books, lit­er­a­ture, video and even pro­fes­sion­al wrestling) and syn­the­sized them into an ele­gant­ly real­ized chart. Instead of group­ing the ele­ments by noble gas­es or met­als, Har­ris has orga­nized them by sto­ry ele­ments — struc­ture, plot devices, hero arche­types. Each ele­ment is linked to a vast wiki that gives def­i­n­i­tions and exam­ples. For instance, if you click on the ele­ment Chk, you’ll go to a page explain­ing the trope of Chekhov’s Gun. And if you click on Neo, you’ll go to the page for, of course, the Cho­sen One.

Below the chart, Har­ris has even cre­at­ed sto­ry mol­e­cules for a few spe­cif­ic movies. Ghost­busters, for exam­ple, is the com­bi­na­tion of an atom con­sist­ing of 5ma (Five Man Band) and Mad (Mad Sci­en­tist) and one con­sist­ing of Iac (Sealed Evil in a Can) and Hil (Hilar­i­ty Ensues).

So if you’re in film school or if you have a copy of Robert McKee’s Sto­ry on your book­shelf or if you’re one of the rough­ly three dozen peo­ple in the Los Ange­les cof­fee shop where I’m writ­ing this arti­cle who are bang­ing out screen­plays, you need to check this table out. But be warned: it will suck away a good chunk of your day.

via No Film School

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Sto­ry­telling

Ira Glass, the Host of This Amer­i­can Life, Breaks Down the Fine Art of Sto­ry­telling

World’s Small­est Peri­od­ic Table on a Human Hair

“The Peri­od­ic Table Table” — All The Ele­ments in Hand-Carved Wood

Free Online Chem­istry Cours­es

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow.

The Chemistry of Sriracha & What Sets Your Mouth Aflame

If you head over to the Huy Fong Foods web site, they’ll tell you that Sriracha, their ever-pop­u­lar Thai condi­ment, is “made from sun ripen chilies which are ground into a smooth paste along with gar­lic and pack­aged in a con­ve­nient squeeze bot­tle.” It’s the chilies that make your mouth burn when you pour that Sriracha onto your eggs or burg­ers, or in your soup and, yes, cock­tails. But if you want to get sci­en­tif­ic about things, it’s actu­al­ly the cap­saicin and dihy­dro­cap­saicin — the two com­pounds inside the hot pep­pers — that set your mouth aflame.  All of this, and more, gets cov­ered by this new video, The Chem­istry of Sriracha, from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. It’s part of their video series, Reac­tions, that exam­ines the chem­istry of every­day things.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Free Online Chem­istry Cours­es

The Fas­ci­nat­ing Sci­ence of Snow

“The Peri­od­ic Table Table” — All The Ele­ments in Hand-Carved Wood

The Ele­ments: Tom Lehrer Recites Chem­i­cal Ele­ments to the Tune of Gilbert & Sul­li­van

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.